Thursday, March 27, 2014

Expanding and updating the master bathroom

 Before and After

When we moved into this house our master bathroom looked like scenery from a bad horror movie...and for ten years we lived with this:

and this type of electrical work - I don't know much about electrical, but that doesn't seem very safe.
Does this look like a fire hazard or what?

On the other side of the tiny, gold and tan plastic bathroom was this very deep but small closet.

But we finally remodeled it! 

Before showing all the room pictures, we couldn't have done this in such a short amount of time without all the help from family and friends.  Svenja, how did I not get a picture of you?

 The back side of the closet from the bathroom.

With the wall dividing the closet and bathroom gone. 

Seeing how much larger the bathroom can be.

Shower base in place.

Scraping the ceiling in the old closet so it will match the bathroom.

Shower plumbing in place (we hired our friend who is a plumber for this work!)
Fixing the floor
Sub-floor on

My husband, Nate and his dad, Kerry, made these cubicles for towels and extra storage. (above)

 Kerry also fit these in between the studs on the wall opposite of the sink for more storage. (below)

Building storage into a small space adds a little extra time to the project, but it adds so much peace of mind too!  Since closet space in the entire house is limited, the ability to roll towels and place them in the wall makes my life easier; I can roll the towels quickly to put them away and I'm not having to gather them for the kids (and my husband) to use, they can just pop them out of one of the cubbies easily.

My father-in-law teaching me how to do tile.  (He did most of the cutting, which is really the hardest part!)

*sigh* "much better!"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted

As mentioned, I had hoped to have the reveal of my master bathroom...but like all projects, this one is going a little longer than hoped.

So since today is the first day of spring, I thought I'd post some hopeful flowers and a nice message.

I love spring! It's my favorite season!  But the words "bloom where you're planted" have special meaning to me.  When I was a child, my mother had a wooden plaque on the kitchen counter that read those words.  At the time, I thought I knew why she had that always within eyesight; she was the only child, out of five, who moved away from her parents.  In fact, my grandparents and all four of her siblings still live in the same basic area that they lived in when my mother was growing up!  I figured that she was reminding herself that being in a new place was a new start and opportunity for beautiful growth.

Recently, though, I had an experience that gave me the idea that perhaps blooming where I'm planted doesn't have to be as literal as moving from one state to another. Instead it sometimes could be being put in a situation that is not comfortable or that is unfamiliar, like a new job, or a new position at church; those too can be times where you can bloom.  In this recent experience, like spring, I had the opportunity to have much growth.

So, bloom where you're planted and enjoy the beauty of that bloom!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A $9 light fixture - good deal, right?

We've been remodeling our master bathroom, which I'll post about next week, the meantime...let me tell you about this $9 light fixture.   

I'm a big fan of the Habitat Re-Store and was pleased when I found light fixture for a great price - so much better than a regular home building store!  The Re-Store also has a plethora of glass globes to choose from which I knew could help make the dated fixture a little more modern.
The light fixture itself was $5 and the two new globes were $2 each for a grand total of just $9!  I was so pleased with myself and brought my wares home for my husband and father-in-law to see.  Sadly, I was disappointed by their reactions when I showed them this beautiful brass fixture and reassured them that it would look wonderful spray painted with new globes (which I showed them but they still had the unconvinced looks on their faces).

I happily spray painted the brass with brushed nickel, popped the new globes into their places and finally got the reaction of "oh, yes, that will be nice".   "Nice?!  It's fantastic!", or so I thought anyway.

Fast forward a couple of weeks when it was finally time to install my beautiful fixture.

Apparently it's important to make sure that the light fixture  you get matches the box you put in the wall (our box is rectangular and the fixture is circular).  But no problem, no problem - we worked around doesn't have  to match.
Oh, and the two holes in the center that actually attach it to the wall? Those take a certain kind of screw (at least if you want to have the pretty little knobs showing instead of the screw head of each screw).  Again, crisis averted by me just being excited that it is actually on the wall -- and I'm short, and it's really high up on the'll not be looking up there very often anyway.  lol

Lesson - To save yourself four additional trips to Lowe's and about three hours of headache and frustration, be sure to know exactly what you're looking for!'s just $9

Thursday, March 6, 2014

From My Wedding Dress to My Kids' Baptismal Clothes

You know that show on TV called "Something Borrowed, Something New" where the bride decides whether she's going to use her mom's wedding dress (re-made) or choose a new one to fit her own style?  

Well, seeing that once made me think that perhaps I should write a post about taking my own wedding dress apart and taking the pieces from it to make my children some part of their baptism clothing.

I decided that my daughter would probably not want to wear my wedding dress,  but I didn't want it sitting around taking up space.  So in 2009, when my son was about to turn eight, I took my dress apart seam by seam with the help of two friends.   (Since this project was important to me and my sewing skills are very, very basic, I needed assistance on a more professional level.) We took the dress apart seam by seam and then used the left over pieces from my son's vest to make part of my daughter's dress in 2012.

The top of my dress was beaded material and it was so intricately pieced together that I didn't use it for either child's baptism clothing.  (I still have it, wondering if I can do anything else with it.)

But with the skirt, there was enough material that I was able to make my son's vest...

And my daughter's puffed sleeves and bodice. 

He was able to wear his vest for nearly two years worth of Sundays. And my daughter, who is now almost 10, wore her dress last Sunday, so the effort lasted more than one or two days for a wedding and much more than just the day of their baptism. 

I love that the dress that my grandmother made for my most special day became special white clothing for my kids on their special days!